Wednesday’s pledge by the head of the Senate Republican campaign committee was to raise as much money as possible and launch an advertising campaign this week in support of Herschel Walker’s Georgia runoff against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
However, Sen. Rick Scott from Florida will not weigh in on one aspect: whether ex-President Donald Trump should remain out of December’s runoff.
Insiders in the GOP criticized Trump for his toxic relationship with the popular Republican governor. Brian Kemp endorsed him even though he was re-elected the day before. This cost the party control in the Senate in two simultaneous runoffs last year. Trump lost his reelection bid to President Joe Biden. He then made false conspiracy theories about voting, which led many Republican voters to remain home.
Warnock defeated Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler in the race. Sen. Jon Ossoff beat GOP incumbent David Perdue to win control of the narrowly divided chamber.
Warnock has been elected to a second round after each side spent more than $200million in the Senate race this year. It’s against Walker this time, and the state could once more decide the balance in the Senate.
Republican leaders aren’t keen on a repeat 2021 runoff. Trump has teased a Tuesday “big announcement” when he is widely expected to announce another White House bid. Scott has remained mum about the Trump question.
“That will be a decision between Herschel or Trump. Trump is willing to help Herschel win, and I am sure that Trump does. This is a campaign issue. Scott, who serves as the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that he doesn’t have any say in these decisions.
Scott stated that his goal will be to raise as much money as possible for Walker after the NRSC invested $14 million in the race. This week, the committee will begin running TV ads.
Scott encouraged donors and surrogates to participate in Walker’s campaign by sending a memo.
Scott admitted that he was disappointed with Tuesday’s election results, as Republicans had expected to win more Senate seats. Trump backed Mehmet Oz, a celebrity doctor, but he lost his bid to fill the vacant Pennsylvania Senate seat that was being vacated. Meanwhile, Blake Masters, a Republican in Arizona, is trailing Democratic Senator Mark Kelly.
Yet, Adam Laxalt, a Republican Senate candidate from Nevada who is supported by Trump, is leading Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. Another contest has been rated too close for comfort. If Laxalt wins, control of the Senate would be retaken by the Georgia Senate race.
Trump chose Walker, a former University of Georgia football player, to run for the presidency because he is an iconic sports figure in Georgia and has been friends for decades with the former president.
Walker has a long history of making false statements about his education and business, as well as domestic violence allegations, and claims that he paid women for abortions. He has denied these accusations. Scott called it “character assassination” by the Democrats who vilified him in a saturation campaign.
The other Republican candidates for Georgia state were able to avoid Tuesday’s runoffs by winning over 50% of the vote. Warnock missed the threshold with 49.4%, in a race with Walker at 48.5%, and Libertarian Chase Oliver at 2.
Walker received almost 203,000 fewer votes than Kemp. Trump attempted to defeat Kemp in the Republican primary by recruiting Perdue against him. Perdue was beaten by Kemp who refused to support Trump’s 2020 election results.
Scott blamed Walker for Walker’s poor showing among Republicans who didn’t vote. However, Tuesday’s election results show that enough Republicans went to polls and that many voters split their ticket.
Former Georgia Lieutenant Governor said, “This comes down again to Donald Trump.” Geoff Duncan is a Republican critic of Trump. “Donald Trump’s visit to Georgia is bad news for anyone who wants Republican control over the U.S. Senate.”
Duncan said that Warnock, in contrast, has avoided being too closely tied to Biden, who is also deeply unpopular in the State, and Trump.
Taylor Budowich (Trump’s spokesperson) dismissed concerns over Trump’s endorsement record and Walker’s standing.
Budowich stated in writing that President Trump was 220-18 in the races called and that Herschel Walker is well-positioned after forcing a runoff.
Trump held no rallies in Georgia during the final days of the general elections. According to campaign sources who have access to the data but declined to comment, Walker’s internal polling indicated that Trump was hurting him with “the voters we need to lose” — female, moderate Republican, and independent voters.
According to one source, Trump was not concerned about staying out of the country because “he wants Herschel to win.”
Trump advisers and confidants want him to delay the expected announcement of his presidential campaign so that it doesn’t complicate or overshadow the Georgia Senate race.
One source said that “our whole focus should be on winning the Senate and the best way to do that is to keep a laser focused on Georgia and President Biden.”
The person stated that Trump’s presidential campaign has become a political issue. Stories about Trump’s campaign will be published, as well as stories about Herschel and Trump’s toxic impact on many Georgia voters. It’s distracting.
Trump did however tell Fox News Wednesday that he plans to announce his decision next week.
Erick Erickson is a Kemp surrogate and a political commentator. He said that Trump should stay away from the Republicans.
He said, “The emails that I’m receiving all morning are: Can we stop Trump from coming to Georgia to help Herschel?” Walker might be stopped from the radar if they can keep Trump out of the way. Trump showing up to help would be a disaster.”
According to sources familiar with the talks between the campaigns, Kemp plans to rally alongside Walker, despite having a difficult relationship with him. The nature of Kemp’s assistance is not clear.
Newt Gingrich (Republican from Georgia), said that Kemp’s win Tuesday night has cemented his position as an influential Republican.
Gingrich stated that Trump had just proven his strength in the state and showed that he can turn out votes. It is up to them all to decide whether Trump will visit North Georgia or South Georgia, not Atlanta. It is unclear if there are ways to bring Trump and Kemp together. The fate of the Senate is in jeopardy.
Scott stated that he isn’t giving up on Arizona winning, saying, “We still possess a path.” But, he doesn’t leave anything to chance.
He stated, “We can’t lose our eyes on the ball and make certain we win Georgia.” We have a plan. We’re working on it. We’re going to win.”